I suspect that the Avengers exists as a comic book series because, despite their dominant position in that arena and broad portfolio of characters, only one, Spider-Man, really counts as an A-List superhero to the world beyond the fringes of comic book fandom. The rest of the major league franchises, Batman and Superman, belong to DC Comics.
Recent movies have changed that pecking order, but let’s face it: No one really gave a rat’s ass about Iron Man until Robert Downey, Jr. strapped on the suit and when most people hear “Incredible Hulk,” they think Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno before they think of Eric Bana, Edward Norton, or Mark Ruffalo.
Good thing no one told writer/director Joss Whedon. Continue reading
For moviegoers, the Marvel Comics universe has been hard to avoid these past few years. We’ve been treated to the excellent (Spider-Man 1 and 2), the pretty damn good (Iron Man), a nice try (The Incredible Hulk), and the god-awful (the Fantastic Four movies). Captain America: The First Avenger slides comfortably into Iron Man territory.
As comic book film-making goes, Captain America is everything it needs to be, with a likeable hero, the right tone, nice retro touches, and a straightforward story, briskly told. Continue reading
I’m not much of a comic book aficionado, so I’m not certain where the Fantastic Four fit in the pantheon-slash-food-chain of super heroes. I guess the fact that I’m aware of them means they’re pretty popular. As a film franchise, however, they are strictly bush league. Continue reading
The title of this movie is at least half accurate. There are four of them.